India, waking up to innumerable familiar sounds everyday. The familiar sounds of the “Suprabhat” played out in every temple, the occasional ringing of the bell, the chants, ring through every household. This is normally faintly interspersed with the call to Allah, gently resonating from speakers, coaxing people to wake up and set about their daily activities. Beautiful sounds of the morning. Sorry, my bad. It was those cars. The crazy traffic trying to maneuver through packed lanes, at early hours of the day. Each of them playing their own versions of the “Suprabhat”, often remixed, with the not-so-soothing beats. “Hey Kousalya, go, go, go, Suprabhat!”, will slowly take over. It works you know, we are getting a fair share of the mandatory morning music.
The birds chirp gently, “cheep cheep”. Sorry, my bad. It was the crow. “Cawwww Cawwww x 534”. The sparrows I used to love seem to have given up on me, and moved to a happier place. I remember how they used to chirp their way through the day, picking up tiny twigs from my garden, to build nests. Now we have the Crow, shouting disapproval at every instant. “Caw Caw, where is the damn jug of water?” or “Caw caw, there are no pebbles to drop into the jug”. We also have the Kingfisher. The little bird brightly colored in Blue, perches itself silently. Oh, we have a lot of Kingfisher in the city. They come in various varieties too – Draught, Premium, Strong. Much loved, I tell you. Very much loved bird this one.
8:55 AM. The school bells ring, and a mad rush to the gate begins, children running across the ground rushing to assemble in straight lines, waiting for the school captain to bark out orders of “Attention” and “Stand-at-ease”. There’s a calm that takes, and “Assembly” begins peacefully. Simple enough to gather a bunch of kids rather than to round up our rotund politicians to get themselves seated in the parliament and hand out the regular yearly budget. Crores of Rupees being wasted on politicians who’d rather not attend sessions of the parliament. We surely don’t need an uprising like Egypt did for Mubarak. Is it possible to clean up a system which is SO messed up? I don’t think so. Besides, I don’t think we care either – Our musics become “cooler”, the gentle sparrows have been replaced by vicious crows, we can’t stand in straight lines either.
I wonder if we’ll ever have our good old Sparrows back. I wonder if the crows will grow to be wiser, calmer and less agitated. Might as well just go back to sleep?